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Apr 16, 2013

Mexicans, Mixed Martial Arts and Belizeans prepare for battle

This coming weekend there is a competition that promises to be entertaining and full of suspense.  The neighborhood House of Shotokan will take on their Mexican counterparts in what is known as mixed martial arts. The big ticket event will be a match in a cage. News Five’s Jose Sanchez caught up with the local fighters as they trained.

 

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Mixed Martial Arts is relatively new to Belize. But the House of Shotokan will defend its honor against Mexican fighters who are coming to Belize this week for a spartan war.

 

Shihan Ray Kelly, Grandmaster, House of Shotokan

Ray Kelly

“The competition on Saturday will be a mixed martial arts event held at the Belize Elementary Gymnasium. It is expected to have a total of nine fights including our championship bout between Jameel Smith against Galera. The event is going to be a spectacular one again; it is the first time in Belize that it has ever been done here and we are looking forward to this event at seven p.m. this Saturday at the Belize Elementary. The contact again mix martial arts derives from the martial art background. The contact that will be done in the ring is takedown type of contacts, submission locks, grappling on the floor, couple jujitsu, holds, arm-bar locks; you will have from the boxing skills itself: the jab, the cross to the upper facial area and to the body. So it is considered a full contact type of match which would ultimately lead to the victor or the winner won either through submission on the ground, which would likelihood would be through submission.”

 

Amongst the fighters, will be nineteen year old student, Alain Alexis.

 

Alain Alexis

Alain Alexis, Mixed Martial Arts fighter, House of Shotokan

“I never believed that I would have been doing MMA right now. I started going to church and a group of us from church decided that we were going to do a mission program just for us the teenage boys. My coach, the pastor, came over to the karate school because he had a son that’s doing the karate. So I believe that he had a talk with Shihan starting an MMA program. And us boys from the church, we came on, we started running in the morning and the more training we got in the more developed the program became.”

 

The prize fight will feature Jameel Smith.

 

Jameel Smith, Mixed Martial Arts fighter, House of Shotokan

Jameel Smith

“I saw Shihan Kelly had a competition. I saw it on Channel Five and they were showing some clips about it; they had a slight grabbling thing and it was something I was interested in. And then I passed here and I saw his sign “mixed martial arts fighters wanted.” So I stopped in and I asked about it and he told me what was the price and the days they trained and he invited me to come in and I told him okay. First day I came, he invited me to come run with them on a Friday and I thought that’s not a problem, I’m not that badly out of shape. I went running with them. They ran six miles and I couldn’t keep up; there were girls running faster than me and I was dragging way in back. And I was really out of shape and I said mien this is something good for me and I had to get in shape. That was my first goal.”

 

Smith will face off with Mexico’s Alberto Galera inside a cage.

 

Shihan Ray Kelly

“The Mexican guy is well experienced, Galera is. He has a taekwondo background which has a lot of kicking in that art. Recently I was in Mexico visiting his training camp. They brought in a famed Cuban boxer to train Galera in the boxing art, so he has been working with the boxing skills. Also Galera holds a second degree black belt in kickboxing. So he is well-versed, well-familiar. This is not his first time in the ring. We have seen him fight before; he is very aggressive, dynamic, explosive and he just comes with a lot of action packed in his character. He wants to throw down; he is not a person that backs off. When you fight him you’re in for a fight.”

 

Jameel Smith

“I mean training is really hard. We really focus a lot on cardio: a lot of roadwork, a lot of running; to keep our stamina and endurance up. I mean it’s no use having skills and not being able to complete them because you are tired. As for fighting Galera, we’ve seen him fight before live. He was the main event at my last fight. I’ve seen a couple clips of him on Youtube, so I’ve seen some of the stuff he has. Of course I’m not only relying on that because guys get better every fight. So I’m putting in my training but just keeping an eye to see what he is doing as well.”

 

It’s a daunting task to balance work and training and in the case of Alexis, school.  All the fighters have regular lives.

 

Alain Alexis

“I go to school in the night time after work. So I work in the day and go to school in the night. I go to the University of Belize; I’m taking the paralegal program which I believe is very interesting because knowing your law is a plus. They say that every incident, ignorance to the law is no excuse; so I believe that helps a lot. During the day I’m an office assistant, driver for OCEANA. So during the day I am up at the OCEANA office. We recently won our case this morning on the PSA oil contracts and so that’s a great victory for us today for my work and I’m waiting for my victory on Saturday for my MMA class.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Are you concerned being that it sounds like he is the more experienced fighter? What’s your motivation for this upcoming fight with Galera?”

 

Jameel Smith

“Well first of all, we’re fighting in my backyard, so that is a lot of motivation to represent Belize and MMA because we haven’t really done this before.  I know he is coming in and he is very experienced, but I know that I’ve put in a lot of training and I don’t want it to go for nothing. My motivation is that I’ve been beating up my body for a long time and now it is time to get some fun in. And the fun is getting into that ring and competing against Galera.”

 

Smith versus Galera is the main event and may bring pound for pound hits following the other eight fights. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

 

The event is on Saturday at seven p.m. at the Belize Elementary Auditorium. General admission is ten dollars and if you want to sit near the cage, it’s twenty dollars.

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1 Response for “Mexicans, Mixed Martial Arts and Belizeans prepare for battle”

  1. Storm says:

    Best wishes to our warriors — may the best men win, and hopefully they all will be Belizeans!

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